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Six earn Black Angel Foundation scholarships

Sunday, February 21, 2021

SIX young, budding musicians are the beneficiaries of scholarships for piano tutoring thanks to the Black Angel Foundation.

The charitable organisation was formed in 2020 in memory of Joseph Michael Buchanan, founder of the Black Angel Music label. Buchanan was a musician, producer and songwriter who worked with a new generation of artistes including Future Fambo and Kritical. Joseph passed away unexpectedly in 2012 at the age of 26 before fully realising his dreams. His family, including mother Bridget Brown of the world-famous Bridget Sandals and brother Johnathan, established the Black Angel Foundation as a tribute to his memory and so as to create an opportunity to contribute to the next generation of Jamaica's music legacy.

This year marks the second cohort of beneficiaries of the scholarship. This year the scholarship has been dubbed the Budding Musicians Programme and as a result, the six recipients are between five and ten years old and have expressed and interest in learning to play the piano. They are Angelina Solomon, a nine-year-old student at Jessie Ripoll Primary; seven-year-old Joshua Johnson and 10-year-old Kenya-Marie Johnson, who are both students of Liberty Academy at the Priory; Kai Sotirova who is six years old and a student at Reach Academy; Nicquacya Gordon, a five-year-old who attends Alpha Infant; and 10-year-old Odane Tulloch of Norman Gardens Primary and Junior High School.

The scholarships were presented during a small ceremony at Bridget Sandals in St Andrew recently, and Jonathan Buchanan shared some information about his late brother and what the recipients can expect from the piano classes over the next year.

“Joseph loved music from he was very, very young – it was his outlet. Every time he would get into trouble or get a little punishment he would sit in a corner and he would be drumming on the wall, building a rhythm...always doing something musical. He loved the piano and played the piano for many years. Just like the tutor we have chosen for this programme, Miss Delia Harrison who has certification from the Royal Academy of Music, he did some studies there as well. This year we wanted to tap into the younger audience, instead of trying to focus on kids who are already in college, to help them develop their musical ability and see how we can help that grow. We believe that once there is a passion and you nurture it, it can only grow. We want to encourage the six kids who have been selected to receive the scholarships this year. Great things are in store for the next year;w you will have an absolute blast,” said Buchanan.

The inaugural Black Angel Foundation music scholarship recipients in 2020 were three young women from the School of Music at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. They are Victoria Taffe who is currently completing her final year of study for the Bachelor of Music in Performance; Brenesa Allen who completed the Bachelor of Fine Arts - Interdisciplinary Studies in November 2020 and is currently employed to Port Antonio High School in Portland as a visual arts teacher; and Chantel Lamontaka Tash who also graduated in November 2020 with a Bachelor of Music in Performance. She is working to build a career in music and is preparing to release her first single, Royal King.